Communicating with professors (image courtesy: iStock)

Connecting with professors, advisors and administrators is never as complicated as it seems, and they’re all here to help you if you let them. Understanding a few simple “ground rules” can help build relationships and effective communication. For example:

All professors have office hours, and many post those on their office doors. Don’t be afraid to visit them in person. Introduce yourself on a first and last name basis so they’ll know who you are. Have your student ID card with you in case you want help with your academic program.

Speaking with them in person is the best way to communicate. If they see you willing to make that effort, they’re more likely to go the extra mile for you too. If a class you want is full, go ask the professor directly. It’s harder to turn down students who care enough to look you in the eye.

Once professors get to know you, they can help you make contacts and be part of their network. This can open up new opportunities to learn, do internships, and find jobs. For many professors, that’s the most rewarding part of the job. Let yourself benefit from it!

Remember that professors are people too. They work here. Try reaching out to them during normal business hours rather than at night or on weekends.

Most professors believe that being a student is your full-time job. While many understand that you also work part-time, have internships, or are involved in other activities or athletics, they expect schoolwork to come first. Help them believe this about you!

Don’t miss classes. If you have an 11 a.m. class, be in your seat, with your phone out of sight by 11. Don’t be that student who strolls in at 11:02 a.m. because there was a line for the coffee that’s still in your hand. Professors see that as a sign of disrespect or not caring about class.

If you can’t get to their office hours, that’s okay. Professors check their SNHU email regularly. Until you get to know them, address them formally, such as “Dear Professor Smith.” Remember that it’s a business email, not a text to your friend. Try to send emails during business hours.

Check your SNHU email at least twice a day, every day. That’s how professors and the school will communicate with you. Sorry – we don’t text or Snapchat.

If you have a problem with a class, see that professor first. Most are open to discussion, and want to work with you. Being proactive helps earn their respect, and is more likely to lead to a happy resolution. If that doesn’t help, see your Academic Advisor, or the Department Chair.

Above all remember, we here to help you. Welcome to the Fall 2021 semester!